by simongalton on 28 August, 2008
The liberal democrat group has become aware of the closure of a private sector care home in Loughborough. Shelthorpe house was sold by the County council in 2004 and is due to close because the operator, Rushcliffe care, claims it cannot afford the refurbishment costs. With the County Council currently selling 6 other care homes the liberal democrats believe that current residents and their families will be concerned. Cllr Bailey Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Adult Social Care & Health has called for some clarification as to why this has happened.
Cllr Bailey stated “ I am concerned by this news; it is unfortunate that this is the sort of risk associated with the private sector running care homes. In fact I raised this concern myself at meetings of the Scrutiny committee for Adult Social Care and Health as part of our reason for opposing the sale, however I do believe that the specific reasons for the closure of Shelthrope need to be identified before elected representatives start to make assumptions with little if any evidence. I will say in response to the claims made by Rushcliffe Care regarding their reason to close is that they must have known the state of the property when they bid for it in the first place and would hopefully have set aside plans to invest the necessary capital – yet the current financial crisis may have made that unworkable. Alongside this I hope the council will investigate to see if any capital value can be reclaimed if Rushcliffe Care sell the land.
Primarily we should ensure that current round of sales of care homes will contain sufficient safeguards to protect our elderly residents and ensure suitable investment to keep the properties open. In addition I welcome Mr Sprason’s guarantee that this will not happen again but I hope to get some clarification from him as to how he can make such a guarantee as well as the reasons for the closure of Shelthorpe and what the council will do next.
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